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Mazda to keep working on hydrogen rotary engine
Submitted by SuperUser on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 9:07am

TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp., a third owned by Ford Motor Co., will continue development of a hydrogen-powered rotary engine in an effort to compete with bigger rivals investing in fuel cells and other reduced-emission technology.

Hiroshima-based Mazda's Chairman Kazuhide Watanabe told 236 investors Tuesday at the company's annual shareholders' meeting that it will continue development work on such an engine. Mazda unveiled its first prototype hydrogen-powered rotary engine in 1991, in its HR-X concept car. It announced an improved version in 1993, powering the HRX2 car.

Mazda is the only company that makes rotary engines, making it a brand icon for the company and using it in the RX-8 sports car. The engine has "advantages and weaknesses" and "wasn't appropriate" for all vehicles, company President Lewis Booth said at the meeting, without elaborating.

Mazda is also collaborating with its largest shareholder Ford in fuel-cell technology, which many industry watchers see as the future of low-emission driving. Mazda's larger rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. were the first two carmakers to market fuel-cell hybrid vehicles, leasing them to institutions in Japan the U.S.

Fuel cells generate power to drive an electric motor by combining hydrogen and oxygen, ideally with only steam or water as a by-product.

Mazda plans to raise research and development spending 3.6 percent to 91 billion yen ($773 million) in the business year started April 1, compared with Toyota's budget in the same period of 690 billion yen.

Booth reiterated the automaker plans to get 5 percent of the domestic market in the current business year, up from 4.6 percent the previous year.

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No Rotor
December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm
while reading the RX-8 book i learned they had also devloped and testeda hydrogen/ electric hybrid rotary engine. any news about that? and nobody else is interested in hydrogen rotary advancements?
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